Gingerbread House

23:00

 

Since I was little, I have always loved to have a gingerbread house around Christmas time. There's just something about gingerbread houses that feel so Christmas, it's probably all the white royal icing on it! I hadn't had a gingerbread house for years, until my mum decided to make me one for my birthday cake this year. You're never too old for one! I love decorating the house and I love gingerbread! Particularly this recipe - it's full of spices and packed full of flavour! If you're like me and love gingerbread you should give it a go! 
I used gingerbread house cutters from Lakeland. 

Ingredients:
450g plain flour 
2tbsp ground ginger (or more) 
1tbsp ground cinnamon 
1/2tsp ground cloves 
1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda 
175g butter or margarine (I used goats butter as I'm lactose intolerant) 
225g soft brown sugar 
6tbsp golden syrup 
An assortment of sweets for decoration 

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 170oC
• I didn't have any ground cloves in stck, so the first step of my method was to toast 1/2tsp of whole cloves on the hob and use the pesel and mortar to grind them up 

2) Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the golden syrup and the sugar

3) Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices in to the saucepan and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth soft dough forms

4) The dough made need to be chilled

5) Roll out dough until 0.5cm (a £1 coin may help with thickness) and cut out shapes. Transfer to two lined baking sheets
• I also cut out where the doors and windows would be, crushed up some clear boiled sweets and used them as stain glass windows. 

6) Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely


 
  
  
 
 
  
   

After this picture, I accidentally cremated the whole of the gingerbread house so had to remake it all the next day - I was very upset!


Royal Icing:
450g icing sugar 
2 egg whites 
1tsp Cream of Tartar 

1) Whisk egg whites in a bowl until slightly frothy. Sift and stir in quarter of the icing sugar with a wooden spoon and gradually continue to add more icing sugar beating well after each addition until 3/4 has been added. 

2) Continue beating for about 10 minutes until icing is smooth, then beat in remaining sugar until the required consistency is achieved (in this instance it needs to be fairly stiff to hold the walls together like glue!)
Beat in the cream of tartar. 


  
 

Assembling the House: 

1) you can either decorate the flat shapes now, before assembly or once put together using the sweets and royal icing 

2) Assemble the house, cementing the four walls together with lots of royal icing to a cake board. You may need to use a mug to prop up the walls. Allow to dry for 4 - 6 hours. Stick the chimney pieces together and also allow to dry 

3) Cement the roof pieces to the house and add chimney, again allowing to dry for ages 

4) Cover roof with icing and decorate how you wish! 

  
  


I would love to be able to show you the finished product; the one I decorated and put together (instead of mum's at the top). But, I had a little bit of a disaster to which I felt as though I was on the Great British Bakeoff!!! My icing was too runny as I didn't whisk it for long enough, so everything just fell apart and it ended up looking rather like a derelict house or something from Homes Under the Hammer - whoops! I decorated it and it still tastes nice though and saved everyone else a job of deconstructing it before they eat it! Just rather upsetting and frustrating for a perfectionist such as me! Mum and Greg tried to fix it but it just didn't work - typical especially as I cremated it the day before! Oh well, you know what they say: 

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" 

I hope you have more success with your gingerbread houses if you decide to make one! Xx 

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